DRINKERS at a popular town centre pub were left stunned after going to order a pint – only to be told to leave as its owners had plunged into administration.
Bar staff at the Goodridge, in Station Street, Burton, had to ask customers to drink up before ushering them out onto the street, locking the doors and shutting up yesterday lunchtime.
People attempting to get into the watering hole were met with a sign that said its owner, Bramwell Pub Company Limited, had gone into administration.
One seasoned drinker, who asked not to be named, told the Mail: “I went up to pay for a drink and the staff said that I could not have one, because they had been told to close up as they had gone into administration.
“People were still trying to get in when staff told them they could not go in, and slammed the doors shut.”
Sources close to employees said that they were ‘completely unaware’ of the closure and found out only minutes before they were forced to shut the doors.
Zolfo Cooper has been appointed joint administrators to the company.
The Mail was told that it was ‘unclear’ if the pub would open again and the administrators were ‘inviting parties wishing to make an expression of interest’ in the site to come forward.
It is not known how many jobs could be at risk following the sudden closure.
Trouble has long been stalking the future of the Bramwell pub chain after last week bosses admitted that a restructuring in 2012 did not go far enough in cutting the group’s then £160 million debt pile or in offloading lossmaking sites.
The group operates 185 pubs and bars across the UK and employs around 3,300 staff across all sites.
Administrators have been appointed after the group experienced cash flow problems arising from the ‘current economic environment’.
It has also been revealed that the Stonegate Pub Company is in advanced talks to acquire around 80 of the Smith and Jones brand operator’s better performing sites.
The Goodridge belongs to this brand but is has not been disclosed if it is part of the 80 sites.